Dropping The Low-Cost Mac Mini Would be a Mistake

Ben Lovejoy for 9to5Mac:

Apple is right to target pro users of the mini. But it would be wrong to ignore the more budget end of the market.

Many people run a Mac mini as a home media server, for example. It’s small, near-silent and … inexpensive. Especially if you’re running it as a headless unit, as many do, using Screen Sharing or ssh to access it.

That ‘inexpensive’ part is an essential piece of the home server equation. A home server doesn’t require much processing power, so there’s no point splashing out cash on a higher spec than you need. If Apple were to offer only a high-powered model with a price-tag to match, many would simply buy a competitor box.

I agree with Ben on this one, but only to an extent. While A high powered small desktop-like device such as a Pro-level Mac Mini would be amazing, I absolutely enjoy mine. It’s dated as all hell, sure, and is but the base model from 2014. I bought it used on eBay for something like $250. It serves a single purpose for me, right now: acting as a Time Machine dumping ground.

Should Apple ditch the cheap Mini, I’ll be sad for a beat, then move on. For those looking for a Mini for home-server-type applications, the 2nd-hand market is on fire with them. If Apple doesn’t update the low-end with new parts, there’ll be little different than today. Will it suck that the only replacement likely crosses the four-digit threshold? Sure. But it’s not the end of the world.

If you can manage to–dare I say it–suffer through buying a used model–you’ll survive just fine.

There’s also Synology.

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A Seattle native, Johnathan has spent minutes scouring the globe for the best coffee, jerky, cheeseburgers, and whiskey. He's also writing about technology and often failing at being funny on Twitter.

Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
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